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Ernaux, Annie

father mother daughter

(French, 1940– )

Ernaux was born in Yvetot, Normandy, and lives near Paris. She combines her writing with her work as a teacher of literature. Begin with Positions (1983), which, like all her novels, has a firm basis in autobiography. Richly elegiac in its minute recollections, it concerns the gulf that opens between an unlettered father and his daughter in the course of her education. In A Woman's Story (1988) Ernaux pays homage to her mother's sacrifice of her individuality to the needs of her husband and daughter. In Passion Perfect (1991) the narrator is in her bedroom, awaiting a visit from her lover. She muses on desire and its various objects as she considers her circumstances and those of women in general. Shame (1998) focuses on a young girl who sees her father try to kill her mother.

Simone de Beauvoir, Michèle Roberts, Marcel Pagnol  DH

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